PAX East 2015 Hands-on Impressions: Beyond Eyes
Team17 is mostly known for quirky and silly games like the Worms franchise so you can imagine my surprise when I was introduced to one of their newest games, Beyond Eyes. Developed by Sherida Halatoe of Tiger and Squid studio, Beyond Eyes, it follows a young blind girl as she explores the land.
Right away I was drawn to the game’s style. It has a brushstroke art style similar to Street Fighter IV. Being a blind girl, you don’t have access to a map and you only see a miniscule amount of land around you. As you walk forward, the landscape slowly comes into view. This also plays into the overall gameplay.
While walking, you may hear something in the distance. What might sound like a load of laundry rustling in the wind may end up being a scarecrow surrounded by birds. Or you’ll hear a sound in the distance that turns out to be a dog barking.
She’ll react differently to these different sounds as well. When she hears the laundry, she’ll spread her arms and her slow walk turns into a frolic as she feels safe. Getting closer and revealing the scarecrow will cause her to tense up, cross her arms and walk slower. She’ll immediately tense up when you encounter dogs. In the full release, you’ll be able to guide her over to the dog and have her pet it. This will cause her to realize that the dog isn’t a threat and will go back to being joyful and treat all future dog encounters as peaceful.
While the demo ended on a somewhat odd twist, Beyond Eyes was an enjoyable experience. Not only was it one of the most unique games at PAX East this year but it got me excited for the full release. The art style is beautiful, the simplistic gameplay is surprisingly fun and the sound design is top notch.
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